how to become a licensed plumber in Nevada

How to Become a Licensed Plumber in Nevada

In order to become a licensed plumber in Nevada, you will need to take an exam administered by the Nevada Board of Plumbing Examiners.

Even though it’s not exactly a job that most people think of taking up, being a licensed plumber offers plenty of great pay and benefits. Plumbers can either work for a company or as independent contractors. There will always be a great sense of job security with this trade because as long as there are pipes and toilets to fix, plumbers will never run out of work. With that said, becoming a plumber comes with a few requirements.

Most requirements are pretty universal across the board, but there are some that differ depending on which state you live in. If you live in the state of Nevada, then there are a couple of requirements that are exclusive to this state that you will need to accomplish if you want to start your career in this industry. With that said, here are some steps on how to become a licensed plumber in Nevada.

You Must Have a High School Diploma or GED

Like with most professions, working as a plumber requires one to have some level of education. For plumbing, potential applicants need to have at least a high school level education which they must show proof of either with a diploma or a GED. Having a strong foundation in math, computers and science is very important in this trade. If it is available, aspiring plumbers should also consider taking up classes in blueprint reading and drafting.

Vocational Training

Trade schools along with technical or community colleges offer vocational classes for aspiring plumbers. This is where you can earn your certificate on topics pertaining to drainage systems and water systems. These vocational classes will also educate you on the various pieces of piping equipment needed for these systems.

Apprenticeship Program

After one has successfully completed his vocational classes the next important step towards becoming a licensed plumber in Nevada is completing an apprenticeship program. To start things off, one will need to apply as an apprentice under the direct supervision of a plumber licensed by the state – whether it’s as a master plumber or as a journeyman. The requirements for apprenticeship will vary depending on who and where you intend to apply with. However, applications will usually require one to have the following:

  • Birth certificate
  • Valid Nevada Driver’s license
  • GED/Diploma
  • Social Security Card
  • Proof of prior working experience (if and when applicable)
  • Proof of experience apprentice with an accredited training program

In most cases, the length of an apprenticeship program will usually involve four years of classroom training along with up to four years or 8000 hours of on-the-job training.

Remember that the Nevada State Contractors Board or NSCB requires all contractors to be licensed before they are allowed to submit any bids. Violating this code can result in some pretty hefty fines especially for those who incur multiple violations.

Working as a Journeyman Plumber

Journeyman plumbers are those who work alone and have completed a 4 or 5 year apprenticeship program. In Nevada there are certain procedural and financial requirements that need to be met before one can be given a journeyman license to operate within the state. In order to apply for this license, the individual needs to have proof of experience. In this case, the applicant needs to have at least 8000 hours of experience from a state registered apprenticeship program.

Candidates for journeymen licenses must also be able to present the following requirements:

  • Official application form
  • Proof of experience
  • Photo ID
  • Associate Fees

For associate fees the applicant will be charged with an initial $300 fee to submit his application. Once this application has been approved, the applicant will be charged $600 annually in order to maintain that license.

Journeyman Examination

Once the application has been accepted by the NBOPE or Nevada Board of Plumbing Examiners, you will get contacted by a licensed analyst via a letter to let you know that you’re eligible to setup an appointment for an exam. This letter will provide you with instructions on where you can take the examination.

In Nevada, applicants will not only be required to complete a journeyman exam, but they must also complete and pass a CMS or construction management exam administered by the PSI and NITC. Taking these two tests together costs $140, but taking them separately will cost $95 each. Both tests can be taken either via computer or paper, and there are plenty of journeyman exam reviewing materials available to help applicants study.

The tests consist of a closed-book portion as well as an open-book portion that features the following:

  • Closed-book – 100 multiple-choice questions with a 1 hour and 45 minute time limit.
  • Open-book – 50 multiple-choice questions with a 2 hour time limit.

Applicants need to score 113 accumulative points which is the equivalent of 75% in order to pass the test. Those who are unable to pass can retry as many times as needed.

Plumbing Courses and Apprenticeship Programs in Nevada

Plumbing Heating Cooling Contractors of Nevada (PHCC) offers a plumbing apprenticeship program. For more information visit the program page here.

College of Southern Nevada (CSN) offers two piping trades programs.  Both programs are affiliated with United Association of Piping Trades Apprenticeship Program.

National Technical Institute (NTI) offers a 12 week plumbing program.  Visit the program page here.

UA 525 offers plumbing trade training programs.  Visit them here.

Local 350 offers a plumbing apprenticeship program.  Visit their website here for more information.


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